It's common wisdom that new technologies are absorbed fastest by children. We had thought that since we'd discarded the television we could wean the kids off videos. And truly, less video is watched, but not much less. The girls quickly discovered how to load DVDs into the computer and much viewing ensued.
No matter, no matter; Darwin set up a login for the girls that wouldn't automatically open the DVD player when a DVD was inserted. (They like to take pictures of themselves with the built-in camera, which is generally a harmless occupation.) They found this frustrating for a day or so, and then discovered the games. I had never paid much attention to the entertainment that came pre-loaded on the Mac (no solitaire, you see), but apparently they involve a sun god and moon goddess duking it out over tic-tac-toe, checkers, backgammon, and other board games. Vaguely celestial music plays in the back ground. Whenever your opponent thinks you've make a particularly stupid move, he talks trash about your game. I'm uneasily anticipating the day when one of the girls announces in public, "You've been mooned!" or demands of someone, "Would you like your spanking with habaneros sauce?"
And of course as I write this, the five-year-old is bouncing on my lap, reading it aloud and laughing...
Fortnightly Book, November 29
17 minutes ago